This report summarizes a study of the personal characteristics and circumstances, preparation and challenges for employment, and employment outcomes of TANF recipients in Illinois. The study found that two-fifths of recipients were working, often full-time, but also that their combined earnings and program benefits seldom lifted them out of poverty. Recipients were found to have significant human capital assets, such as recent work experience and familiarity with common job tasks, but also significant challenges, such as caring for an infant or a family member with special needs, difficulty arranging child- care, or poor physical or mental health. Most recipients were found to experience several such challenges, the greater number of which reduced the likelihood of substantial employment. The study’s specially-designed survey instrument was also used for ASPE-funded studies of the TANF caseload in California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Missouri, and South Carolina, allowing comparison of data from a total of seven surveys.
PIC ID: 8100
Agency Sponsor: ASPE-OHSP, Office of Human Services Policy
Federal Contact: Tambornino, John, 202-401-6639
Performer: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., Princeton, NJ